tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN April 28, 2012 6:00am-7:00am EDT
that should tell you something about where their priorities are that they're saying, we stand here once again handmaidens of the oil industry, protecting subsidies for big oil, and inste we want mom and the children t pay the price with their health. that's just not right. it's just not right. the president made it clear to the public the difference in our approach on the student loan issue. now he has made it clear that ell veto this bill -- that will veto this bill if it contains this pay-for. unfortunately, rather than finding common ground and a way to pay for this critical policy, the statement of administration policy says, this bill includes an attempt to repeal the prevention in public health fund created to help prevent disease detected early and manage conditions
before they become seve. women in particular will benefit from this prevention fund which would provide for hundreds of thousands of screenings for breast and cervical cancer. this is already happening. this would have to stop under this bill. so let's back up for a moment and say we all want the most educated population in our country so people can reach their self-fulfillment, whever thedecide it is, so we can be competitive in world markets, so we can have an informed electorate. in the spirit of the g.i. bill, which educated the -- our soldie when they came home, created a middle class in our country which is the backbone of our democracy, and in a global economy even more necessary for us to be able to have the skls and trained work force in order to compete. let's also recognize that nothing brings more money to the treasury than the education of the american people, whether
it's early childhood, k-12, higherducation, postgrad, lifetime learning,othing brings more money to the treasury. so it will be a false economy to deter people from seeking more education and it's adding insult to injury to say now that we finally had to fold on the issue and agree with the democrats that we should keep the intest rates at 3.4% instead of doubling at 6.8%, we will put women and children first as those who will pay for that. that's just not right. i congratulate the president for his message to the american people, for the message of his administration and statement of administration policy that a veto would be recommended. i urge my colleagues to vote no and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentlelady from illinois. mrs. biggert: mr. speaker, at this time i yield three minutes to the gentleman from georgia, mr. woodall.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for two minutes. mr. woodall: three minutes, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: three minutes. i apologize. mr. woodall: i rise in rectant opposition to this bill. we got caught up in politician today. i am so angry i could spit. i am trying to bring my blood pressure around. i am the key note speaker tonight for the georgia college republicans statewide convention, and i'm going to go down there and proudly tell them i voted no on this bill toda that is pandering on their interes not because i don't love people in education, it's because i love young people in education. we are paying for a piece of legislation, every oil industry tax you want to raise, every millionaire tax you want to raise, you know, that could be paying down the deficit that we're borrowing from these young people that you purport
to -- that you support here today. every new piece of obamacare that we want to abolish and should be aabolished, we could put that money toward the $1 trillion we're borrowing from our children and asking them to pay back. i am not embarrassed what we do to serve our young people. congratulations on our subsidies for our young people. we've now driven our student loan debt higher than the credit card debt in this country. congratulations. congratulations that we now have a 3.4% so one out of two people who come out of college and can't find a job can default on those loans at a lower rate instead of a higher rate. congratulatis. what about focusing on the jobs? what about focusing on our children's future? what about focusing on the better tomorrow that we owe to these young people? there's a choice of two futures here. a choice of two futures. and the committee, as everyone in this house knows, is working
on a fermnant solution, a permanent solution. we -- permanent solution. a permanent solution. we subsidize institute loans today. 6.8%. that's below market interest rates. we subsidize student loans today with an above-the-line deduction on the 1040. everybody can take that today. already today. and here we are in the midst of the largest economic crisis in our nation's history saying once again let's spend the money inead of putting the money towards these children's future. there is no free lunch in this town. every single penny that we end we're spending from them. you're not subsidizing these people. you are asking them to pay more with interest in their future. one out of two kids can't find a job graduating from college. student loans higher than
credit card loans for the first time in american history. are we headed in the right direction? are we headed in the wrong direction? i say, focus on what this committee on labor and education is doing. look at what they are doing for a permanent fix to provide certainty. this is another short-term fix. and i know my colleagues on the left and on the right are trying their best to do what they believe in their heart that's going to serve our young people, but short-term fixes aren't the answer. there's a better answer and it's coming from the committee later on this year. i hope my colleagues will oppose this bill today and support that bill going forward. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. tierney: thank you, mr. speaker. just before i eld i want to correct the gentlema there is somebody that would get the free lunch and that is the oil companies that made $80 billion in profits last year. i recognize the gentleman from illinois for unanimous consent. mr. davis: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks in opposition to robbing health and education to pay for oil. the speaker pro tempore:
without objection. mr. tierney: with that, mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentleman from michigan, mr. kildee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized for one minute. mr. kildee: mr. speaker, i rise todayn strong opposition to the majority's faulty attempt to extend currentstudent loan interest rates. the ryan budget, which most of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle voted for, allow those interest rates to expire. it was only when they started gettg criticized by the press they decide to offer an alternative to our proposal. even then it took yet another shot at the health care law while keeping big oil subsidies intact. mr. speaker, this yea a mammogram has saved my wife's life. they have chosen the wrong priority. at the end of the day, the american people cannot afford to see their interest rates double on their student loans. .
i urge my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to join us in offering a legitimate source of funding that doesn't put anyone's health in jeopardy. this congress needs to find an equitable solution to this problem before july 1. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore:he gentlelady from illinois. mrs. biggert: thank you, mr. speaker. at this time i would yield two minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. poe. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for two minutes. mr. poe: i thank the gentlewoman for yielding. banks offer car loans at 3.99% interest rate. banks also offer 30-year fixed mortgages on homesith an interest rate of 3.8%. student loans are currently at 3.4%, but if we don't do something it's going to jump to 6.8%. it seems to mekong can handle this and do something about it -- it seems to me that congress can handle this and do something
about it. recent graduates from college are unemployed or underemployed. i received an email from a high school sdent today encouraging to do a commonsense thing to put the student loan rate at 3.4%. why don't we do that? student loan debt has reached $1 trillion. why would you want to strap students going into college with more debt by increasing the student loan rate in this current economic climate? you can get a car or home loan rate very low. in fact you can get some car los with zero%, but not so with students. why is that? we should maintain low interest rates for student loans. cars and homes are iortant, but students going to college on investment in our future. education is important tool for our young people to be ae to contribute to america's competitiveness worldwide. also the bill is paid for and some of the money that's coming out of this unconstitutional health care mandate will go to deficit reduction.
we need to support our students and encourage young people to go to college. not discourage them by increasing their student loan rate because of politics. this is a commonsense idea, extend the student loan low interest rate, we should do it today. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from yields back his time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. tierney: i note, mr. speaker, it was common sense about two weeks ago along with the entire republican party to let the rate go to 6.8%. it's nice to see they have found reity here. this time i yield one minute to the gentleman from maryland, mr. hoyer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for one minute. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for yielding. following up on my friend from texas, i served on the labor health committee for 23 ars. bill from kentucky used to say this, if you take care of the health of your people and invest in the education of your young people, you'll continue to be the strongest and best nation on the face of the earth. i agreed with the gentleman from kentucky then and i agree with him now.
everybody says on this floor, although everybody didn't vote that way, mr. boehner voted against this reduction in interest rates, mr. cantor voted against this reduction in interest rates, and mr. kleine voted in 2007 against this reduction in interest rates. what we are saying is w need to invest, we tk about subsidies, this isn't a subsidy, this is an investment in a wetter -- better, stronger, more growing america. that's what this is. but what do we say? natcher said remember if we take care of the health of our people this undermines the health of our people. it takesway preventive assistance so that women, families, children can get preventive care which so many republicans have said is a more efficient and effective cost saving way to address the health of our country. bill natcher was right. bill natcher was right. conservative democrat from kentucky who said, if you take care of the health of your
people and educate your young people, you will be the strongest nation on earth. this bill goes in the wrong direction trying to do the right thing. let us reject this bill and if in fact you are for investing in our young people and bringing these interest rates down,which is so absolutely essential, then bring back a bill you know will pass because you know this bill will not pass. the president has issued a statement of administration policy that says he will veto this bill because they do not want to undermine the health of women, family, and children while at the same time they want to invest in the college education for our country, young people, and our future. reject this bill. bring back a new bill, the courtney bill, which does in fact invest in our children and take care of the health of our people. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlelady from illinois.
mrs. biggert: thank you. mr. speaker, as we have noted before, in february congress took action to stop a payroll tax increase on working families and ensure the tax increase did not add to the deficit. the legislation cut $5 billion from the prevention fund. and the bill received the support of 149 house democrats, including democrat leaders such as ms. pelosi and mr. kildee, and mr. courtney. i guess that the democrats were in favor of raiding the slush fund before they were against it. with that i would like to yield two minutes to the gentlelady from alabama, mrs. roby. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentlelady from alabama is recognized for two minutes. mrs. roby: thank you so much. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 4628, the interest rate reduction act. i have a prepared speech but in sitting here listening to the debate i really want to focus in on one specific issue. american students should not be fearful to attend college due to the crushing weight of student loans weighing them down after their graduation, but as is suggested by my colleagues on the other side of the aisle that this preventive care finds reduction would deny access to individuals for these health care screenings, and i had the privilege, mr. speaker, just yesterday, to have a conversation with the secretary see we'llous -- sebelius directly as relates to this fund. i asked her very specifically, madam sretary, will the reduction in the preventive fund cause a child to be denied access to a health screening?
and by her own admission she said, and i quo, absolutely not. so as i am listening to this debate and hear the comments from my friends on the other side of the aisle i'm dismayed to hear some of the things being said that quite frankly by the secretary's own admission just quite are not true. and so i standoday in support of this bill and i want to also point out that by the secretary's own admission as well she acknowledged that in fact t president of the united states himself in his own budget put reductionso this fund. the interest rate reduction act will repeal the slush fund, the $5.9 billion will be used to offset the cost of maintaining the one-year extension as we move towards a meaningful response to our young people. congress must put washington politics aside and take action. it is time to stop piecing together temporary solutions to the problems that exist in our
student aid programs. i fully support the interest rate reduction act and i encourage my colleagues to join me. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. tierney: thank you. madam spear, i note i was at that education meeting and heard the secretary say quite clearly that no child would get immunization under this program will get immunization under this program if the fund is eliminated. mr. speaker, of course taking a little bit of the money and taking that and equating it to wiping out the entire fund. with that, mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. waxman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for two minutes. mr. waxman: i thank the gentleman for yielding. the cynicism of the debate today is why congress is held in such low repute. we hear republicans saying that a public health fund is a slush fund. this is a fund set up to keep us healthy, prevent diseases as long as possible, immunize our
kids, provide mammography and pap smears to women in need, find wirt defects early on, help stop smoking, they call this a slush fund. they are not trying to reduce this fund, their proposal to eliminate it. and the argume from the other side of the sle is, well, we'll still get those services. i don't know whether we'll get those services if the fund is eliminated and appropriations are being squeezed down. so they call this a slush fund, but they are using it as a slush fund because they took the elimination of this fund to pay for this extension of student loan interest rates, and they eliminated this fund so they could use it for their reconciliation to the budget in order to make sure defense is adequately funded, to make sure the tax cuts are kept in place. they are using it as a slush fund andhey e using the student loan issue to drive
their agenda. i find that very cynical. i find that, in fact, quite repulsive. and i hope we will reject this bill. we are all for, according to the debate, making sure that we mainta the current interest rates for the 7.4 million students depending on these loans, but i don't find much sincerity when we see a proposal coming from the republican majority to pay for that by cutting out preventive services. there's got to be a better way to do it. they are not looking for a better way, they are just looking for a way to cover their rear ends. i urge people to vote against this bill. yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from illinois. mrs. biggert: thank you, mr. speaker. at this time i would yield three minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. stearns. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized forhree minutes. mr. stearns: i thank my distinguished collgue. let me just say to the gentleman
from california who just getting ready to leave the for, when he mentioned that republicans are going to prevent tobacco prevention of our youth today, he and i both know there's a separate program in c.d.c. just for tobacco prevention. and in fact in this so-called pphf which all of us have called the slush fund which is the prevention of public health fund, there is right now $191.685 million for this spending for tobacco prevention. and after this amendment passed there would be $109 million still remaing in this for that smoking and health component of cdc. i say to the gentleman from massachusetts and mr. hoyer from maryland, i mean you're yelling
fire and there's no fire. i could go through all these things to show you that your arguments are wrong. the fact that see we'llous -- sebeus, the head of the health and human services said publicly, she in fact pointed out that this so-called slush fund is not going to impact what mr. hoyer says dealing with women and families and children. and they bring up mr. hatcher. mr. hatcher says is very noble, very good. and you constantly hues that. i'm going to take you through these different areas where you say that it's going to be unable to provide supports for the family and women and children. cancer prevention and control which includes breast and cervical cancer screening, it's funded at $205 million in f.y. 2005 budget and f.y. 2013 budget goes up to $261 million. it goes up almost 60 million.
no prevention funds are being used for free cancer screening. and will not be affected. let's take birth defects and developmental disabilities. in f.y. 12 the program was $138 million. it's now going to be $125 million. again, these funds would continue to receive discretionary funding, nutrition, physical, activity, obesity activity again will continue to receive funding. viral hepatitis screening. c.d.c. health care statistics and surveillance, and prevention research center. all of these things, i say to the folks on this side, are going to continue to receive base discretionary funding. and i challenge you, the gentleman from massachuset, to point out where and each one of the ones i talked about, all these programs are going to remain in exist ens. how in the world can you -- existence. how in the world can you come to
the floor and constantly say -- i'm almost ready -- the point is that you folks are not actively portraying what this bill does, so i support h.r. 4628 and i agree with secretary sebelius, the slush fund will not affect wome family, and children. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. members are reminded to address their remarks to the chair not to others in the second person. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. tierney: i would have addressed my remarks to the chair and taken the challenge anything other than an empty challenge they wouldave noted secretary see bell us and administration clearly those funds would have been diminished in the screenings for wrest cancer and cervical cancer would have beepassed by hundreds of thousands in the administration's own analysis. i ask the chair for the time remaining on both sides? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 13 minutes remaining. and the gentlelady from illinois has 514r3/4 minutes remaining. mr. tierney: with that i yield
one minute to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. holt. . mr. holt: think of the great moments of american public policy, creation of land grant colleges, the g.i. bill, providing student loans, all directed toward increasing access to higher education. four years ago we, the democrats, lowered interest rates for students to 3.4%, saving today's typical student borrower a couple thousand dollars. so two days ago the speaker, cornered by student outrage, said the majority always intended to keep these rates low. if the republicans were interested in keeping the student interest rates low, why did their budget double it? they voted twice to let rates double and collect $166 billion more from students so they could preserve tax giveaways for big oil.
now they come and propros canceling preventive health care funding, not preventing cervical cancer, not preventing tobacco-related diseases, eviscerating the centers for disease control to preserve tax giveaways fo big oil. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from illinois. mrs. biggert: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from illinois reserves her time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. tierney: mr. speaker, at this time i yield one minute to the gentlewoman from california, ms. lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognized for one minute. ms. lee: thank you very much. first, let me thank congressman tierney for yielding and for your tireless leadership on this important issue. it's clear to me the repuicans are not serious about addressing the student a lot interest rate hikes with their so-called interest rate reduction act. their bill is a wolf in sheep's clothing and would permanently end the prevention in public health fund established by the affordable care act. this is the first mandatory funding stream dedicated to
improving public health. it is extremely important in our fight to prevent chronic diseases, h.i.v. and aids and women's health. this is such a sad and sinister ploy. instead of pitting student loan relief against critical critical preventive health for middle and low-income families, we should be working toward real solutions. instead of paying for subsidies to big oil, we should invest in our students who are our future. this bill jeopardizes, mind you, jeopardizes the health of our nation. it uses our students as pawns, and it is morally wrong. i hope we defeat this insincere proposal. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from illinois. mrs. biggert: i reserve the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady continues to reserve. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. tierney: mr. speaker, i'd li to yield two minutes to the gentlewoman from connecticut, ms. delauro. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from connecticut is recognized for two minutes. ms. delauro: the republican
majority in this house is involved in the political shell game on this issue. they have voted to eliminate the prevention and public health fund. they voted two days ago to end it. today they want to tell you they are going to take money from it to pay for student loans. you can't end the fund and then talk about taking money to use it. in addition to that, the gentleman from california a moment ago talked about money in the appropriations bills for these health care programs. what he doesn't tell you that the majority in the committee are voting to cut the money for the centers for disease control , for the screening for breast and cervical cancer, for all these efforts. they are talking out of both sides of their mouth. this majority passed a budget that has asked families to pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest
ericans, slash pell grants for nearly 10 million college students, allow interest rates on student loans to double in july. and after there was an outpouring of concern about the doubling of interest rates, they switched course. this apparent moment of conscience was too good to be true. instead of ending oil subsidies, closing corporate tax loopholes, what they now have done, they eliminate, eliminate the prevention in public health fund wh that fund does is -- i'll be brief in thi -- it is about providing screening for breast and cervical cancer. women die every year from kembcal cancer. isn't it worth trying to prevent cervical cancer and not eliminate it? it works to prevent coronary heart disease, the leading killer of women in america. it has the potential of
mitigate othio pour owe cis, arthritis, mental illness. this would disproportionately protect the women. there is a level of hypocrisy on this floothat is staggering. instead of takg the money from health care for education, a false choice, vote against this bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentlelady from illinois. mrs. biggert: i reserve the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. tierney: mr. speaker, at this time i yield one 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from micgan is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. without objection. mr. levin: the republicans have taken a 180-degree turn on helping with student loans. the republican budget said no. in february, governor mitt romney said this, the right course for america is make sure that we provide loans to the extent we possibly can at
an interest rate that doesn't have the taxpayers having to subsidize people who want to go to college. want to go to school. now he and the republicans here have shifted. shifty indeed. now they're doing so is not only politically expedient but extremely harmful. they hit health care. health care. they refuse to end a tax eak for bill oil that never should have been given in the first place. even though the big five oil companies made more than $32 billion in the fourth quarter of last year alone. this bill is shameless. it is shameful. vote no. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. does the gentlelady from illinois continue to reserve? mrs. biggert: yes, i continue
to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. tierney: mr. speaker, at this time i'd like to yold one minute to the gentlewoman from california, ms. woolsey. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is cognized for one minute. ms. woolsey: mr. speaker, in my dictionary a slush fund is defined as a fund for bribing public officials or carrying on corruptive propaganda. yet, the speaker of the house used that term, the chair of the education and labor committee used that term slush fund to describe the prevention of public health fund which has screenings for cervical cancer and birth defects and immunizations. we are theost wealthiest and most powerl nation in the world. i refuse to accept the idea that to solve one problem we have to create another. the democrats propose writing the ryan budget wrong by taxing oil company profits.
therefore, their suggestion that we go from a 3.4% interest to 6.8% can be paid for out of the wealth of oil companies that benefit from our country so tremendously. mr. speaker, i reject the blackmail inherent in h.r. 4628. i don't want anybody to know that it's ok to pit one group against another and we cannot undermine heal care to pay for education. we have to do the right thing and we have to choose both. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. the gentlelady from illinois continue to reserve? mrs. biggert: yes, i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. tierney: yes, mr. speaker. i'd like to yield one minute to the gentlewoman from california, mrs. davis. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recogned for one minute. mrs. davis: mr. speaker, unless college acts -- congress acts, stafford loan rates will
double. i spoke to some students at san diego state university just just the other day worried about their day-to-day needs and they asked us not to play politics with this issue. new grads should have increased opportunies, not bills they can't pay. a college degree should invite calls from job recruiters, not from collection agencies. i'm glad that the majority has abruptly changed course by agreeing to stop the interest rate hike, but it is unacceable this this bill proposes to pay for this by repealing the prevention fund. the bill creates a choice between funding cancer screening for a mher or making college more affordable for her daughter. uld you want to be that mother? that sends the wrong message to the american people about our priorities. i urge my colleagues to support a more equitable solution that promotes the health of the american families and the future of our bry minds. i -- bright minds.
i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from illinois. mrs. biggert: i'd ask the gentleman, does he have more -- mr. tierney: at lea five more speakers. mrs. biggert: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from massachusetts. mr. tierney: i'd like to yield to the gentleman from michigan, mr. clarke, for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. clarke: i'd like to thank the gentleman for yielding me time. we talk about the cost of capping student loan interest rates. well, think we should extend the cap for longer than a year, and we don't need to cut people's health care screenings in order to do it. let's create jobs. that's how we can create the economic revenue. and one of the best ways for us to create jobs is to allow student loan borrowers the ability to pay down their loan according to their income for 10 years and then making them eligible to have the balance of their student loans if they own any, to be forgiven. that's the best economic
stimulus. you know, these loans are not just for t benefit of the borrower. it also makes our country ronger. the more our people are trained and educated, we can sell the best products overseas and create the best technology. that creates jobs for this country. it's in our national interest to help pay down these debts and forgive certain student loans. let's redirect some of our money from afghanistan and iraq and use the savings to forgive student loans. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlelady from illinois. mrs. biggert: continue to resee, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. tierney: i'd like to yield one minute to the gentleman from new yor mr. engel. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for one minute. mr. engel: you know, once again the republican leadership has shown it's more interested in playing political games than it is in getting things done. we're talking about student loans here. we should be putting our heads together and coming up with a better way to pay for lowering
student loan rates, not eviscerating health care prevention. this is nothing more than a cynical ploy. you know, the american people want us to work together. we have an opportunity to do this. this is what we really should be doing. there are lots of loopholes that we could close. my colleagues have mentioned big oil and big gas. we could close those loopholes. we have corporations making lots of money. could close those loopholes. but what do the republicans decide to do? they decide to hurt health benefits and prevention benefits. this is not the way we should be going. we need to put our heads together and help these students. the democrats have side time and ti again that this is our priority. we have voted against republican budgets that raise the amount that students have to pay in loans. stop playing your cynical games and let's get to work for the american people. let's put our heads together. let's help these students and let's not eviscerate health prevention. i yield back.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. does the gentlelady continue to reserve? mrs. biggert: continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. tierney: thank you, mr. speaker. at this time i'd like to recognize the gentleman from michigan, mr. peters, one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. peters: i rise in opposition to h.r. 4628, a misguided, deeply partisan bill which would cut $6 billion from the prevention and public health fund. for months i have been proud to help lead the charge to prevent student loan rates from doubng on july 1, so please excuse my surprise when i hear the majority talk about their strong support for keeping college loans affordable. this is a position that they have repeatedly rejected. apparently republicans have no interest in trying to prevent serious diseases. surely if republicans can ram a $46 billion tax cut to millionaires and billionaires, they can find a way to pay for both education and health care. i urge my colleagues to vote for defeat of this bill, stop
protecting tax giveaways to big oil and pass a possibly bill to stop the doubling of student loan rates. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the geleman yields back. the gentlelady from illinois. mrs. biggert: mr. speaker, at this time i'd like to enter into the record several documents. one is from the american council on education, representing 37 education associations and they say education has never been this important to america's economy as it is now. as we are encouraged by the proposals we have seen. administration, both parties have expressed strong support for keeping the interest rate at 3.4% without cutting other forms of student aid. enter that. another one is from lewis university in linois saying doubling thenterest in the subsidized stafford loans will discourage students in need who
are striving to continue their degree study during these difficult economic times. thank you for your support for these students. and finally from joliet junior college saying that the college has -- serves population of seven counties in illinois. . college students were awarded $23 million in total financial aid. because of this the institution supports h.r. 4628, legislation that would prevent the scheduled rate hike. with that i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the refence material will be entered into the record. the gentlelady continues to reserve. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. tierney: thank you, mr. speaker. as long as we are taking unanimous consent, i would like to internear the record letters from groups opposing the republican bill, h.r. 462, the
american federation of teachers, american diabetes association, american federation of county and state employees, american lung association, american public health association, campaign for america's future, campaign for tobacco free kids, national association of county and city hospitals. afl-cio. trust for america's health. ussa. young inconvincibles, campus progress, ussa, young inconvincibles, national partnership of women and families. association of state and tear torial health officials. american public health association, mr. speaker, some 760 groups that support the prevention of public health fund. thank you. with that i'd like to yield one minute to the gentleman from vermont, mr. welch. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from vermont is recognized for one minute. mr. welch: i thank the gentleman. mr. speaker, last week the republican majority was adamantly opposed to this
legislation. this week we are rushing it through on the floor today. that's aood thing. we are on the same page. the majority and the minority want to preserve student interest rates at 3.4%, not let them double to 6.8%. so if that is the case, why are we selecting mutually unacceptable ways to pay for this? 's as though we are resorting to the trick bags. you raid the health fund that's so important to us, we present the oil company provision that is so unacceptable to you. what we should do is find a way to put some limits, some incentives to keep tuition increases at our below the rate of inflation. they were up 8.4%. if we work together, that would be a double win for students and parents. we could keep those interest rates low and we could start bringing down the escalation and tuition increases that are unacceptable. i yield back.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from illinois. mrs. biggert: i reserve the balance. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. tierney: mr. speaker, at this time i'd like to yield one minute to thgentleman from rhode island, mr. langevin. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from rhode island is recognized for one minute. mr. langevin: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my rerks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. langevin: i would like to thank the gentleman from massachusetts for yielding and his outstanding leadership on this issue and so many other issues in education. mr. speaker, we obviously absolutely cannot allow the interest rate on student loans to more than double. i rise in opposition to h.r. 4628. while congress must prevent the stafford loan from doubling, it is unconscionable that republican leadership is forcing us to choose between education and health care. too many students face unnecessary barriers to pursuing a college degree. it is our responsibility to
empower them by investing in their education and health. republicans are putting us in the untenable position of paying for this by gutting the prevention in public health fund, the so purpose of which is to reduce chronic conditions that are driving up the cost of health care in t first place. instead of sacrificing our public health to score political points, we need to work together to ensure our students can pursue their dreams without the burdens a necessary cost and debt. i urge my colleagues to oppose this bill. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlelady fro illinois. mrs. biggert: is the gentleman ready to close? mr. tierney: we have one more speaker to close. does the gentlewoman have more speakers? mrs. biggert: no. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentlelady reserve? the gentlelady reserves her time of the the gentleman from
massachusetts. mr. tierney: i yield the remaining time on this side to the gentleman from maryland, mr. van hollen. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for one minute. mr. van hollen: i thank my friend from massachusetts. just a few weeks ago on this very floor our republican colleagues voted for the republican budget that called for a doubling of interest rates on student loans. on sevenillion american students and they voted against the democratic alternative budget which would have prevented that increase in stent loan interest rates. so what's happened over the last couple weeks? well, president obama has gone to the country, gone to students, he's told the story about what the republican budget would do. so we are here today. but make no mistake, mr. speaker , our republican colleagues haven't changed their minds about this. they have changed their tactics. if they really wanted to prevent student loans from increasing, they wouldn't sk to cover the costs by by cutting funds for cervical cancer screening, by
cutting funds for breast cancer screening, by cutting other women's health care measures. they wouldn't push a measure the president has already said he would veto. mr. speaker, we have a proposal, let's cover the costs by getting rid of the subsidies for big oil companies. that's the real slush fund around here. the big taxpayer subsids go for that purpose. let's get the job done and l's not play political games. unfortunately what we are seeing here, mr. speaker, is an effort to seek political cover. let's get the job done for real. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlelady from illinois. mrs. biggert: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. biggert: to close. it seems like came in and i think the first thing that i talked about here is how i hoped that we would be able to work together on a bipartisan bas. it just seems like this is so
hard to do in this political time and i just -- i really think that in major legislation we really have to work together to make -- to find a solution. but it seems like the other side is always ready to tell us what we think and what we are doing and why we are doing it. we are doing this because we really want to have our students have the ability to have a quality education. it just seems like we are so different on the pay-fors. i know that everybody agrees on the progra itself and how we have to do it, but we can't seem to do anything without giving us a cynical view, it bothers me. it seems like we were talking about the pay-fors, the other side of the aisle first reaction is to raise taxes for
everything. and ours has always been to reduce spending. we think this is the way to go. i think we have just got to find a way to get together. i have said in my opening statement that i hope that we would be able to get together and work together. i also the senate, and i hope that when this bill goes over to the senate that there is a negotiation, that there is a conference so that we really can iron this out and make sure that there is not a raising of the -- to the 6.38%. it kind of makes you wonder it just seems like the political maneuvering certainly is continuing on the student loan issues and i guess today when w have this vote we'll see what happens, but i really hope that when we get to the senate so
that we have the opportunity to do this. i know that -- i just want to go back a little bit to what happened in the education committee yesterday. mr. roby talked about and so did mr. tiery. i think that the secretary sebelius did say that there were services outside the prevention and public health fund that will remain available to individuals who seek preventive care, such as cancer prevention and care, including breast and cervical cancer screenings, screenings for birth defects and develop disabilities tobacco prevention at the c.d.c., and efforts that promote healthy nutrition and physical activity to prevent obesity. i think it's really a lot that we believe in for prevention and
we heard from mr. stearns of the appropriations and how that takes care of a lot of the prevention issues. i think that the american people are really very knowledgeable now about prevention and what they need to do and have the ability to do this on their own as well. i hope that this political bickering is not what the bill is all about. what the bill all about is to reduce to 4% the interest rates on the subsidized stafford loans. i hope that this bill will pass. i urge my colleagues to vote for it. is recognized for five minutes in support of her motion. mrs. capps: mr. speaker, this is
the final, it's the only amendment to this bill. it will not kill the bill or send it back to committee. instead, if the house adopts this amendment we will immediately move to final passage. mr. speaker, it appears that we now all agree that we cannot let student loan rates double come this july. that's good. but i wish we were also looking for a bipartisan solution to funding the continuation of student loans. but instead the majority is engaging in other partisan attack on public health funding. funding that improves the lives of americans and the productivity of our work force. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady will suspend. mrs. capps: i strongly oppose this position and their proposed cuts to the prevention fund. funds that will make women and children healthier and that's
why i ever offered this straightforward amendment. it would ensure that poor policy decisions made here in congress, namely to get rid of the only dedicated funding we have for public health and prevention, that these decisions do not give insurance companies an excuse to cut benefits or increase costs of preventive services for women and children. these services include critical access to contraception, mammograms, cancer screenings, and immunizations. whatever our strong disagreements are about the underlying bill, we surely can agree that no insurance company should use this as an excuse to hinder access to basic preventive services. the public health and prevention fund is a critical investment in both our nation's health and our economic future, especially for women and children. its value cannot be understated. a healthy mother is better able to raise a child.
a healthy child will be ready and able to learn in school. and a healthy worker is more productive for american businesses. moreover, this fund is critical to bringing down health care costs. it targets the most prevalent and preventable of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. the fund has been used to ensure that our children have the vaccines they need to avoid painful and expensive childhood illnesses. it supports programs to prevent birth defects and autism surveillance. and the fund supports critical women's health screening, 600,000 screenings will be cut with the repeal of this fund. these are not frivolous. as mothers and grandmothers, we know the importance of preventing birth defects and having access to vaccines, knowing we are doing everything we possibly can to ensuring that our children have a healthy
start. as a nurse i know the importance of preventing chronic diseases and early cancers catching it early. and as a taxpayer i surely know that we cannot afford to keep ignoring the cost benefit of prevention. programs that have a five to one return on our smart investment. states and counties all over the country are realizing the importance of prevention programs. that's why they all embrace the prevention fund that this bill wipes out. it wipes it out completely. in fact, 760 nonpartisan groups across the country have signed on in support of the prevention fund. i would like to insert this list of organizations for the public record. 760 nonpartisan groups. this investment in public health has been a long time coming. to abolish it now will send us back to square one just so we
can least afford to do that. now, finally, mr. speaker, the women of this country are watching. they are watching us here today. they have watched as countless bills and budget proposals have moved through this house, attacking programs that keep women healthy, their children fed, and families above water. now is the time to stand up for women. vote for this final amendment to this bill to show the women of america that we support them and we support their families and we support the services that they need to lead a happyier and healthier life. -- happier and healthier life. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back her time. without objection, the gentlelady referenced material is entered into the record. let the house be in order.
for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio, the speaker of the house, seek recognition? mr. -- the speaker: i claim time in opposition. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. the speaker: how in the world did we ever get here? think about this. a fight being picked over an issue that everyone knew was going to be resolved. a fight being picked over an issue that there is no fight over. democrats five years ago put this cliff in the law that would require student loan interest rates to more than double on july 1. i don't know why they did it, but they did it. nobody wants to see student loan interest rates go up. especially when you got recent college graduates, 50% are either unemployed or underemployed as a result of the
president's economic policies. so, we got democrats and republicans for months who have been talking about trying to fix this problem. and while we don't yet have the solution to the long-term solution to this problem, the chairman is continuing to work on it, we believe that we shouldn't put students at risk and that we ought to make sure that their interest rates don't go up. so we developed the short-term policy to solve this problem for the next year while the committee has time to look at a long-term solution to this problem. le why do people in-- why do people insist that we have to have a political fight on something where there is no fight? there is absolutely no fight. people want to politicize this because it's an election year, but my god, do we have to fight about everything? and now, now we are going to have a fight over women's
health. give me a break. this is the latest plank in the so-called war on women. entirely created, entirely created by my colleagues across the aisle for political gain. now let's review the facts. let's review the facts. the president in his budget called for reductions in spending in this slushed if fund that's given to the secretary of h h.s. the president called for retux in spending. -- reduction in spending. you may have already forgotten that several months ago you voted to cut $4 billion out of this slush fund when we passed the pafrle tax bill. so to accuse us of wanting to gut women's health is absolutely not true.
but why -- ladies and gentlemen, this is beneath us. this is beneath the dignity of this house and the dignity of the public trust we enjoy from our constituents. they expect us to come here and be honest with each other, to work out these issues and to pick this political fight where there is no fight is just silly. give me a break. vote no on this motion to recommit, vote yes on the final bill, let's send it over to the senate now. >> house approved the measure. because of the pay for offsets
which eliminated funding for funding keira -- for care, the white house will veto the measure. the senate needs to debate and vote on their version. >> coming up this morning on c- span, "washington journal." then, at 10:00 a.m., can salazar talks about u.s. energy policy. he response to the first arrests last week related to the 2010 bp oil spill. at 11:00 a.m., ben bernanke gives his press conference. >> the national public radio table. you guys are still here. [laughter] that is good. [applause] i could not remember where we landed on that. >> later today, the 90th annual
white house correspondents' dinner. president obama and jimmy campbell -- kimmel headline the event. coverage starts with the red carpet arrivals at 6:30 p.m. watch the entire dinner on c- span. you can check the sunup -- check us out on line and find blog and social media posts. at the white house correspondents' dinner live at 630 eastern on c-span. -- says it >> here's a look at our guests on "washington journal." daniel schuman talks about the data act which passed in congress wednesday. then fawn johnson then louis michael seidman and roger pilon michael seidman and roger pilon of the cato institute